With an abundance of water sports activities on the North Coast, why not try something different and spend a day stand-up paddle boarding – yoga style.
SUP (as it’s otherwise referred to) has become very popular in the last few years, and with paddle boards themselves costing nearly £1000 a pop, it’s much more accessible when aided by a lesson.
TK from Portrush Surf School (http://tksurfschool.com/) offers lessons in Portrush harbour, venturing out into the bay. The natural, circular enclosure of the west strand offers a safe environment for beginners, and shelter from onshore waves and wind. The beautiful backdrop and rugged landscape provides an abundance of obstacles and hidden caves to explore, and if you’re lucky enough to score some sunshine, the day is definitely one well spent.
The lesson is £30 for 2 hours, and includes wet suit, booties, life jacket, SUP board, and hot showers and changing facilities. TK will also arrange food and drinks for after if requested. Groups are offered in sizes of 4 – 5 max, but we had a group of 8 which was easily accommodated by two sessions on the same day.
The lesson begins by a warm up paddle in harbour which gets you cosy in your suit no matter the weather. TK then leads you to the “wee beach” and shows you how to hold the paddle, get on the board if you fall in, and how to stand.
If your feeling adventurous and weather permitting, you can paddle out into the bay and over to black rocks.
Once you’ve mastered the movement and balance of the board, you are given the opportunity to play with your new found courage and try your hand at a spot of yoga. Believe me, its harder than it looks but once you’ve fallen in a few times, you learn to relax and enjoy yourself. It’s simply magical to see the reflection of the ocean upside down, whilst trying to balance with the flow of the tide. Standing on one leg is so hard!
All in all, SUP Yoga is a fantastic day out, especially when the sun comes out! TK is welcoming and accommodating and the day is hassle free. Everything you need is provided, and parking is available in and around the harbour. If attending with a family in tow, they can easily grab a coffee and enjoy the spectacle from the harbour walls or nearby coffee shops.